Newswise — El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC), an affiliate of UC San Diego Health, today announced several financial and operational updates, demonstrating significant progress toward stabilizing and strengthening a critical health services asset in the Imperial Valley.

“Our goal is simple — to ensure that the people of El Centro and the broader Imperial Valley have long-term access to health care services,” said Pablo Velez, RN, PhD, chief executive officer, ECRMC. “Over the last year, the amazing team of dedicated physicians and staff at ECRMC have worked tirelessly in partnership with UC San Diego Health to help revitalize our organization — and the results we have achieved together on both the operational and financial fronts speak for themselves. We remain committed to working with the city of El Centro, UC San Diego Health and the newly formed Imperial Valley Healthcare District, to continue on our shared mission for delivering high-quality and affordable health care close to home for everyone in the Imperial Valley.”

In February 2023, the City of El Centro, ECRMC and UC San Diego Health announced a strategic and operational plan to stabilize and financially bolster ECRMC, as well as the greater network of Imperial County hospitals. Under this plan, UC San Diego Health assumed full day-to-day operational, clinical and financial management of ECRMC. In April 2023, UC San Diego Health announced the appointment of Mr. Velez to the role of chief executive officer at ECRMC.

Building on this successful partnership, ECRMC, the City of El Centro and UC San Diego Health recently reached a Joint Powers Agreement that extends UC San Diego Health’s management of ECRMC for the next five years. With this long-term agreement in place, UC San Diego Health and ECRMC will continue to strengthen the quality of health care services in the region by expanding needed clinical services and ensuring uninterrupted access to care for the community.

Financial Updates

  • Net operating income increased to $7.2 million in the third quarter of 2024 compared to a loss of $6.5 million in the third quarter of 2023; a $13.7 million improvement in net operating income year-over-year.
  • EBITDA of $14.4 million in the third quarter of 2024 compared to a loss of $1.5 million in the third quarter of 2023, marking a gain of $16.9 million, year-over-year.

“I am extremely proud of the results we have achieved and amazing progress we have made in a short period of time, including turning around our net operating loss into profitability in a single year, achieving our first profitable quarter in over three years in Q3, as well as numerous gains on the operational front,” said David Momberg, chief financial officer, ECRMC. “We will continue to build on this progress to ensure the longevity and financial sustainability of ECRMC to continue to support all community members of El Centro and the Imperial Valley.”

Operational Updates

Over the past 15 months, ECRMC has implemented a number of operational initiatives to establish the organization for future longevity. ECRMC has made improvements to the hospital’s contract management process and has negotiated more favorable contracts, aligned the organization to meet its operational needs, and worked diligently to increase timely payment reimbursements for services already provided.

At the same time, ECRMC continues to invest in the future of the hospital to ensure it can continue providing sustainable quality, affordable and safe care for its patients. Ahead of the statewide regulations mandating all hospital buildings to be earthquake safe by 2030, ECRMC is making necessary improvements and will have a seismically compliant hospital with the largest number of beds in the Imperial Valley, as well as two large community clinics by end of 2024. In the event of a massive earthquake, ECRMC’s buildings will be prepared to sustain the severity of the quake and continue the operation of caring for the local community.

ECRMC is a critical safety net for the community — the hospital’s emergency department, staffed by UC San Diego Health physicians, treats about 2,900 patients per month and the outpatient clinics treat about 6,620 patients per month. ECRMC is proud to report that the levels of patient visits per month in its third quarter have returned to pre-pandemic levels, reflecting the community’s increased trust in ECRMC as an excellent option for receiving care. ECRMC’s hospital and outpatient clinics are staffed by well-trained physicians, nurses and health care staff, uniquely skilled to provide quality care on a daily basis to both critically ill patients and those seeking basic care.

In collaboration with UC San Diego Health, ECRMC is continuing to create new programs and services to ensure patients in the Imperial Valley receive quality care close to home. ECRMC manages the only cancer center in the region and its cancer patients benefit from the latest oncology clinical trials as part of ECRMC’s affiliation with UC San Diego Health care network. Additionally, ECRMC has the only robotic surgical program in the county, providing advanced health care and high-quality care to patients. Patients at ECRMC can now experience faster recovery times, minimal scarring and improved outcomes.

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